asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the Humberside police force about the number of unsolved cases of violent crime and murder in the Scunthorpe area.
I understand from the chief constable of Humberside that his officers have had considerable success recently in detecting violent crime.
I pay tribute to the Humberside police force for bringing to account a criminal in a murder case. However, is my hon. and learned Friend aware of the grave public concern in my constituency about the large number of crimes of violence that have not been solved, including one or two murders? Will he give the House an indication of whether his Department will be able to assist the Humberside police force in this respect?
Naturally, there is concern about crimes of violence. I think that the House would like to know that the clear-up rate for all offences in Humberside in 1979 was 45 per cent., compared with 41 per cent. for England and Wales. For serious offences of violence the figure was 85 per cent. compared with 81 per cent. in England and Wales.Nevertheless, the best assistance that could be given would be for the police to be strengthened. The strength of the Humberside police at the end of January was 1,889, an increase of 112 since publication of the Edmund-Davies report. There is an application for approval of an interim increase in the establishment, which will be considered carefully.
Will my hon. and learned Friend tell the House how many people in Scunthorpe and other parts of the country received sentences of imprisonment for violence on the picket lines since the beginning of the steel strike?
That is a different question, but I shall write to my hon. Friend with details.